Ella's Choice (Spirited Heart Series Book 1)


Ella Hasting's life consisted of a series of choices - most out of her control. As a child, after her mother's death, her father decided to take Ella from her life of comfort for one of adventure in the West. Their exciting adventure was short-lived when a group of Blackfoot Indians raided their caravan. Another choice stripped from her as she was thrust into a foreign culture with a strange language. Two years later, the Lakota chief, Grey Owl, adopts her, takes care of her, and loves her. This relationship set her down another path, this one leading to a man who made her heart race. This man had lived in two worlds as well - the world of the White People and the one of the Plains People. Their strong emotions and the pressures of society force Ella to make the first choice within her control: fall in love or walk away.

Rich with facts and ripe with struggle, Ms. Merritt transports the reader from present-day back to when stagecoaches and horses filled the prairies, and America opened to the East with wild abandon. The author's artful depiction of the age transported the reader, enriching the experience. That being said, the character's internal turmoil detracted slightly from the overall tale. The characters' emotional back and forth between what they wanted and what society would allow became a bit repetitive making the reader wish they would commit to a decision and ignore their doubts. Otherwise, this was an enjoyable experience making the West not just thrilling but romantic.

Amy Willis